WHHS Theatre Workshop to perform Cabaret March 17-19
WHHS Theatre Workshop to perform Cabaret March 17-19
Posted on 03/11/2016
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WEST HAVEN, March 8, 2016 — History buffs and musical theater fans are in for a treat at West Haven High School next week when members of the WHHS Theatre Workshop perform “Cabaret” in the school auditorium.

Shows are at 7:30 p.m. March 17, 18 and 19. Tickets can be purchased in advance from WHHS Theatre Workshop members for $10 or at the door for $12. Tickets for college and high school students with IDs are $5 each. There is also a 2 p.m. matinee March 19 that is free for senior citizens.

Director and WHHS theater teacher Margi Maher said she chose the show because the group wanted a piece with an important message, even though that means the spring play will have more serious undertones than past performances.

“Cabaret,” set in 1930s Germany during the Nazi rise to power, centers around the Kit Kat Klub nightclub and follows the relationship of its lead performer and an American writer, while also telling the story of a German woman who falls in love with a German man who is Jewish.

“The students have loved researching the musical and Berlin in the 1930s. They’ve learned so much about the history and the unexpected twists and turns in the story,” Maher said.

Before studying the script, many of the student-actors had categorized the show as one focusing on dancing and singing, explained WHHS junior Tyler Newkirk, who plays Herr Schultz, a German man who is Jewish and falls in love with his German landlady, Fraulein Schneider. But they soon learned that the upbeat sound of the production’s music belies the tension and personal turmoil dominating characters’ lives.

Cast members noted that while they all learned about the Holocaust in school, acting in “Cabaret” and studying the characters has given them an entirely new perspective on that time in history. WHHS senior Steven Christensen said the audience will also see another dimension of what Germans faced as the Nazis party grew more powerful.

“It’s haunting, but beautiful. It’s my favorite show that I’ve performed in,” said WHHS senior Susie Beyl, who plays Fraulein Schneider.

“The songs sound happy, but you have to know the context. There’s meaning behind everything in the show. There are little things the audience will pick up on if they watch closely,” added WHHS senior Julia Raucci, who plays the nightclub’s lead performer, Sally Bowles.

In addition to the 27 student-actors and three crew members, there will also be an orchestra of West Haven and local students accompanying the cast for musical numbers. The crew is being overseen by stage manager Brianna Hacket.

Students say they are glad for the chance to share the stories of the “Cabaret” characters.

“Whenever you can be part of something that makes people think, you know you’re part of something great,” Beyl said. “I feel proud I can be a part of this show.”